In this 7 Cups Of Tea (7Cups) review, I’ll reveal how useful this popular mobile app is for improving your mental health.
You’ll discover what services this app offers, and how it compares to similar apps on the market.
On top of that, you’ll discover how it works and whether the paid features are worth the price.
Let’s dive right into it.
7 Cups Of Tea: Overview
7 Cups Of Tea is a mobile app available on iOS and Android. It launched in 2013 as a free counselling service, allowing people to share their problems with volunteer ‘listeners’.
These ‘listeners’ are not qualified therapists or life coaches, although they do receive training from 7Cups before they begin.
The app has since added a paid service, which grants users access to a private text chat room with a licensed therapist. This service costs $150 a month.
7Cups has provided emotional support to over 50 million people since its launch.
Its free service includes community forums and recommends self-help exercises, while its paid service costs significantly less than other online therapy apps.
But how does the quality of the app compare to its competitors?
We’ll explore that in the review below.
|🟢 Free ‘listener’ service
|🟢 Community forums
|🟢 Competitively-priced online therapy service.
|🔺 The quality of your ‘listener’ is hit and miss;
|🔺 No video calling service;
|🔺 Therapists may be inexperienced.
What To Consider Before Using 7 Cups Of Tea
If you need to get something off your chest or you’re looking for some friendly advice, 7 Cups could be a useful app.
All ‘listeners’ are trained in active listening. You can choose whether to connect with a ‘listener’ who just listens, or one who also offers feedback. This service is free and I found thousands of reviews from people who had a good experience with it.
However, if you’re suffering from serious mental health issues, the free service won’t be anywhere near as helpful as connecting with a licensed therapist.
The paid service does pair you with a licenced therapist – but only via live text chat. For most people, this won’t be as effective as video therapy.
With video therapy, you and your therapist will be able to pick up on each other’s sub-communications – from body language, facial expressions, voice tonality etc. This makes it much easier to build a rapport and understand what each other is really trying to say.
You’ll also be able to complete your conversation without having to wait for each other’s response. Indeed, 7Cups therapists typically only respond to messages once or twice per day on weekdays.
7 Cups Of Tea is cheaper than other therapy apps, but the service is limited compared to apps like Betterhelp or Talkspace.
7 Cups Of Tea Features And Benefits
Below, I will describe and rate the main features of 7Cups out of five stars.
You can register with 7Cups using just your email address. No other personal details are needed. It is possible to remain anonymous if you wish.
You’ll be asked if you want to register for a free account (to speak with the app’s trained listeners) or a paid account (to be paired with a licensed therapist).
With a free account, you’ll ultimately navigate to the ‘Browse Listeners’ tab in order to choose a listener to speak to. In this section, you’ll see the average rating of each available listener (out of five stars), as well as a few other basic details.
With a paid account, you’ll need to answer a few questions so that 7Cups can find you a suitable therapist. These questions are asked by a chatbot and should only take a few minutes to answer. You can swap therapists as often as you like.
7Cups is currently offering a 3-day free trial. You can activate that once you’ve entered your payment details. After this point, you’ll begin communicating with your therapist.
Your first $150 will be taken after three days and this payment will recur every month until you cancel.
The 7CupsOfTea app is simple to use and navigate. All communications with listeners and therapists take place within private chat rooms. Indeed, most of your time spent on the app will be based there. There is no need to overcomplicate things.
A common complaint made against 7Cups is that it’s too easy to become a listener. Several users have complained about being paired with a listener who lacked intelligence and/or behaved inappropriately. However, the listener rating system should help you to avoid the idiots – and find someone who you gel with.
You don’t need to worry about being paired with a time-waster on 7Cups’ paid online therapy service. All of them hold a clinical licence.
However, 7Cups does not require its therapists to have clocked up a certain amount of professional experience. That means you may be paired with a therapist who has just gained their licence.
Choice and quality of therapists:
You’ll pay for your online therapy service by debit or credit card. PayPal is not available.
Privacy & Security
All chat rooms are SSL-secured – and 7Cups does not retain any of your data.
You can choose to use the app anonymously if you wish. All 7 Cups listeners and therapists are required to remain HIPAA-compliant and not divulge client information.
Could a volunteer listener break these regulations? It’s fair to say they’re more likely to than a professional therapist…
Privacy & Security:
7 Cups suggests that you shouldn’t expect your listeners or therapists to respond more than once or twice per weekday.
This is a standard response time for most online therapy apps.
Some listeners and therapists will respond faster than others, based on their schedule. You can expect therapists to be more consistent with their response times than listeners.
If you’re unhappy with the speed of responses you’re getting, you’re free to swap listeners or therapists whenever you like.
7 Cups runs a ticket-based email customer service. You can typically expect a response from its team within 24 hours.
You can cancel your paid 7 Cups Of Tea membership at any time. When you do, you can continue using the app until the end of the month you’ve paid for.
Value For Money
7 Cups’ free listener service has proved to be valuable for millions of people.
Its $150/month online therapy service is significantly cheaper than most competitors – and you can even test it out with a 3-day free trial.
However, if you have serious mental health issues, you’ll nearly always get far more value out of video therapy – a service 7 Cups Of Tea does not offer.
Betterhelp offers unlimited text and video therapy for $260 per month – and that’s likely to provide far better value for money.
Value for money:
What Do People Think Of 7 Cups Of Tea?
7 Cups Of Tea has gained more than 50 reviews on TrustPilot, with 92% of customers rating it as ‘great’ or ‘excellent’. Its average TrustPilot score is 4.5 out of 5.
It has attracted over 18,000 reviews on the Google Play store, with an average rating of 4.5 stars. That’s a lot of people with good things to say…
I did find some bad reviews complaining of deeply unprofessional listeners, but these were in the minority.
Alternatives To 7 Cups Of Tea
Below is a summary of three other online therapy apps and how they differ to 7Cups.
Betterhelp offers ‘unlimited’ text, phone and video therapy for a flat rate of $260/month. All therapists must be licenced with at least three years (and 2,000 hours) of professional experience under their belts.
The offer of ‘unlimited’ online therapy is somewhat misleading, as you’ll have to organise video calls in advance and wait for your therapist to respond to your messages.
Still, you can expect to be able to arrange one video call per week, and therapists tend to respond to texts once or twice per day.
It’s more expensive than 7Cups, but I’d urge you to pay the extra money if you are suffering from serious mental health problems.
You’ll get a lot more out of this service, compared to text-only therapy.
Talkspace offers a similar service, although it’s more expensive to use.
You’ll pay $260/month for its text-only service, and significantly more if you want to add video calls.
Nevertheless, the app works well and its licensed therapists have all clocked up at least 3,000 hours of experience.
You’ll be paired with your Talkspace therapist based on the results of an interview with a ‘matching therapist’ – and many users prefer this personal approach.
Amwell connects you with doctors, therapists, psychiatrists and other medical professionals. Use this app if you’re seeking medication for your mental health problems.
You can get medical advice from the comfort of your home. It’ll cost between $59 and $99 for an hourly session, depending on what type of professional you need to speak to.
Conclusion: 7CupsOfTea Is A Good App For People With Small Budgets
7 Cups Of Tea is clearly a helpful app for people who want to discuss their issues without breaking the bank.
Its community of listeners are keen to help others, and many people have got a lot out of speaking with them. If your problems aren’t too serious, but you need someone to talk them over with, use the free version of 7 Cups.
Remember, there’s a 3-day free trial of its paid service available too.
However, if you’re in need of actual therapy, there are better options.
I’d recommend an app that offers face-to-face video communication with your therapist. You’ll get much more out of that compared to the text-only service offered by 7Cups.
That’s why I recommend Betterhelp over 7Cups to anyone looking for an online therapist.